Art & Coffee at The Beaumont (19th May, 2023): Introducing Nina Hamnett & Friends (Part One)

Join us for the next Art & Coffee morning on

Friday 19th May, 11.30am (for about an hour)

at The Beaumont, Barchester Care

15 Cannon Hill, Old Southgate, N14 7DJ

to discuss the artist Nina Hamnett and her life, art & friends in London & Paris.

Nina Hamnett: Paris Cafe [1921; Bridgeman Images c/o TLS]

Nina Hamnett is often referred to as the Queen of Bohemia for her notoriety in London’s Soho, but today we’ll discuss not only that notoriety but the beginning of her art career, noting especially her still life paintings and portraits from the 1910s.

Including numerous references to books, articles, programmes and websites for further independent research, this meeting is free & open to all, whether resident or not.

À bientôt!


Art, Books & Culture at The Beecroft (29th April, 2023): the Baroque wall paintings of Antonio Verrio and Gerard Lanscroon

Join our Art, Books & Culture group meeting

on Saturday 29th April, 11.15am (for an hour or so)

at The Beecroft Art Gallery, Southend

for an exploration of the Baroque wall paintings of Antonio Verrio (1636-1707) and Gerard Lanscroon (1655-1737).

Gerard Lanscroon’s “Muses” at Beaumont House, Southgate.

The 17th century saw a great rise in the art of the mural in houses around Britain; from the 1670s, the Italian artist Antonio Verrio created extraordinary images for royal and aristocratic patrons, from the houses of Burghley and Chatsworth to Hampton Court Palace. One of his assistants was Flemish painter Gerard Lanscroon who, though little known, worked across England and Wales, usually for more private houses.

Today, we’ll look at the work of these two artists and explore their dramatic visions.


All are welcome to these monthly art discussion meetings; tickets are £10 on the door and there will be coffee & biscuits to follow.


Words & Pictures book club (21st April, 2023): “A Month in the Country” by J.L.Carr

Join us for this month’s Words & Pictures book club

on Friday 21st April, 2pm (for an hour or so)

at the Pebbles Community Cafe (the old Havens, Hamlet Court Road)

to discuss “A Month in the Country” by J.L.Carr [Penguin Books]

In the summer of 1920 two men, both war survivors meet in the quiet English countryside.

One is living in the church, intent upon uncovering and restoring an historical wall painting while the other camps in the next field in search of a lost grave. Out of their meeting, comes a deeper communion and a catching up of the old primeval rhythms of life so cruelly disorientated by the Great War. 

The uncovering of the Church wall painting is described magnificently, both as a practical project and a complex symbolism underpinning the story. In the “Foreword”, Carr notes that the church he has in mind is in Northamptonshire. Might it be the Church of All Saints in Croughton? Certainly the great scholar of medieval wall paintings, Ernest Tristram had been there in the 1920s – his drawings are now at the V&A (click on the link here) – very much worth looking at (though the Doom is not illustrated), eg. figures from the painting of Christ’s Betrayal (museum no. E.215-1925). The drawing was made in 1924; the original wall painting around 1300.

Happy reading!


Art & Coffee at The Beaumont (14th April) – Amadeo Modigliani & Anna Akhmatova, Paris 1911

Join our Art & Coffee discussion group

on Friday 14th April, 11.30am (for about an hour)

at The Beaumont, Barchester Southgate Community Care

15, Cannon Hill, N14 7DJ

for “Amadeo Modigliani & Anna Akhmatova, Paris 1910”

Amadeo Modigliani (1884-1920), the Italian sculptor and painter, had moved to Paris in 1906.

Anna Akhmatova, Russian poet of the Silver Age, first met Modigliani in Paris in 1910 (with her new husband who thought the artist a “monster”).

Modigliani (1884–1920) in his studio rue de la Grande-Chaumière, at Montparnasse; unknown photographer, c.1918.

Anna Akhmatova (1889-1966) photographed by Moisei Nappelbaum, 1926.

A year later Akhmatova returned to Paris (alone) and together with Modigliani wandered the Luxembourg Gardens, talking and reciting poetry. Their “affair” lasted no more than three months, yet as Richard Nathanson (a curator for the Estorick’s Modigliani exhibition in 2015) put it in an interview with Lucy Davies [Telegraph]:

“Meeting her changed his art profoundly… Beyond the beauty of the individual works themselves, the particular fascination of this exhibition lies in the way it gradually reveals the emergence of Modigliani’s characteristically concise and elegant vocabulary, and how much that vocabulary had to do with Anna Akhmatova.”


Today we’ll explore the art and poetry of Modigliani and Akhmatova’s Paris.

All welcome!